Category Lead


Status: Reports to Promotions Manager in partnership with Director of Purchasing.  This position is based in the St. Paul, MN headquarters.  Position is full-time exempt; some travel is required.

About INFRA: Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA) is a purchasing cooperative owned and governed by natural and organic food retailers of all sizes working together to forge a sustainable future. INFRA facilitates member collaboration to strengthen independents' position in the marketplace.

Summary: The INFRA Category Lead is responsible for delivering quality promotional and category programs to our independent retail members stores. The Category Lead works closely with INFRA’s purchasing team to identify and develop tools that provide competitive positioning for our members in the areas of core cost of goods.   

Essential Functions

  • Negotiate INFRA Deals contracts with brokers and manufacturers in assigned categories
  • Develop and present monthly promotional opportunities to store buyers in assigned categories
  • Confirm INFRA Deals contracts with brokers and manufacturers, and follow up on details including contract pricing
  • Develop and present regional promotions in collaboration with regional managers in assigned categories
  • Develop and maintain a good working relationship with primary distributors, and direct manufacturers to ensure the success of the program
  • Negotiate annual EDLP program with brokers and manufacturers in assigned categories
  • Ensure discount structure is accurately executed  
  • Oversee and manage Independent Choice™ private label program in assigned categories
  • Grow relevancy and sales of Independent Choice™ private label program in assigned categories
  • Work with the team to ensure timely flow of information in all directions
  • Support and develop in coordination with marketing department consumer marketing campaigns
  • Coordinate collection of past due contract fees with INFRA Bookkeeper
  • Maintain and improve systems for evaluating data and program performance
  • Support and develop member education and training programs in category, including store buyers’ meetings, planning category reviews, and future promotional opportunities
  • Provide members with tools and information to increase sales in assigned categories
  • Support and develop in partnership with INFRA CEO, relationships with other industry alliances to support market opportunities in assigned categories (i.e. Fair-trade, OTA, NPA)
  • Participate with management team in member meetings, conferences, and buyer communications
  • Use SPINS data to drive promotional decisions
  • Participate in staff meetings and other projects as assigned

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Competency in negotiations with partnership attitude
  • Knowledgeable of SPINS, category management, and pricing strategies
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Self-directed, yet successful with taking directive
  • Demonstrated willingness to learn and grow
  • Time management skills and the ability to prioritize
  • Strong organization and planning skills
  • Experience working with distribution, brokers, or retailers in Natural Products Industry and,
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability to travel and work long days when necessary

Education and Experience Requirements

  • 2-4 years purchasing experience required
  • Project Management experience preferred
  • Demonstrated experience in problem solving, troubleshooting, and ability to make constructive decisions

INFRA provides a full suite of employee benefits including: PTO, Health, Dental, Disability and Life Insurance, SIMPLE-IRA retirement plan, and a working environment that strongly believes in rightful living. 

Please send cover letter and resume to